Sergey Tsybenko: «Sports facilities of the Universiade 2017 can accommodate top level competitions»

The head of the Department for Administering and Maintaining Facilities with the Directorate for the Holding of the 28th World Winter Universiade in Almaty Sergey Tsybenko has told about how much the sports facilities of the coming Universiade meet all the required world standards.

- The Winter Universiade in Almaty will run on the premises of eight sports facilities, six of which are located in Almaty and the other two are located in Almaty region, – said Sergey Tsybenko. – Two fully new facilities have been built and commissioned, including Almaty-Arena and Halyk-Arena which may accommodate 12,000 and 3,000 viewers respectively.  Besides the two arenas have training rinks.  All the facilities meet all the world's required up-to-date standards.  Across the post-Soviet territory, they are among the best sports facilities.  Since Almaty applied for holding the Olympic games, all the sports facilities plus the athletes’ village were constructed to state-of-the art technologies.  These facilities can be suitable for holding high-profile international tournaments, including the Olympic games.  These facilities are ultra-modern and being modernized.  In addition, our sports arenas are universal and they can be suitable for holding both sports and commercial/entertainment events.  As for those facilities that we already have, for example, a complex of ski jumps, the high-land skating rink Medeu, the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace, they have been reconstructed to some extent, the latest equipment and machinery that are suitable for holding any kind of competitions have been purchased.  The Universiade in Almaty will be brought to nearly one billion viewers throughout more than 100 countries worldwide.  Hence, all our facilities have been brought in line with all the international standards and specifications and all certificates, including those from TV crews and sports officials have been obtained.

- How are inspections of sports facilities normally carried out and for how long are international standard compliance certificates valid?

- The Winter Universiade will be held under the auspices of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) but under the patronage of all international winter sports federations.  Every federation is to delegate one technical specialist for the period of the competitions with whom we will discuss on a daily basis and agree on all standards and requirements as long as none of the competitions will not start if the facilities fail to comply with certificates and procedures of the international federation.

Certificates are issued by international federations for a certain period and it differs from federation to federation.  For example, in the mountain skiing, certificates are issued for a few years.  Take such sports as hockey, skating and short track speed skating, they are to be issued with a certificate for geodesy on an annual basis.  This certificate implies the correct marking of an ice arena, the width of skating tracks and ice cover.  In this case, a certified specialist, who holds an approval and license to hold international competitions and under our patronage, will come and do all the marking.  In the skiing sports, there exists a similar certificate for which an invited expert will take measurements of tracks and downhills and uphills.  These are all standardized as the safety of sportsmen, spectators and jury depends on this.  All our facilities have been fully inspected and obtained the required certificates.

 - It means that upon completion of the Universiade we can run the competitions of the largest scale here?

- This was one of the objectives of the Universiade in Almaty.  So that in the course of the preparations for this large-scale global and image making event we could fix up our sports bases and build new facilities.  Besides, we should not forget about sports heritage.  For example, take two new ice arenas, including Halyk Arena and Almaty Arena, before the New Year celebrations we had arranged public skating sessions for free.  The effect was immense as many people came in and we could turn them to the sport.  This was thanks to that the two arenas were built in the remote corners of the city.  The residents of these areas can scarcely ever afford to get to Medeu or the downtown and the erection of the ice arenas has helped solve the problem.  And this is our heritage.  We must build sports facilities not only in the city's downtown but in its distant corners as well.  I should repeat that thanks to the Universiade we can hold the competitions of any kind here, including the Olympic games.